Vendor Spotlight: Arancini Brothers
What started as a market stall in Brick Lane Market has grown into a much-loved franchise celebrating all things arancini. From wraps and burgers, to their classic risotto balls, the Arancini Brothers provide vegan and gluten-free options to suit all diets.
How did Arancini Brothers get started?
We started with a little market stall several years ago, and quickly gained popularity in London. We then started doing bigger events and festivals and opened up our first shop in 2011, followed by a couple of pop-ups and then another shop in Dalston in 2013. We’ve now grown to four locations, offering vegan, plant-based food with a focus on Sicilian-style risotto balls, which we make vegan and gluten-free and turn into meals by putting them in wraps, burgers, and salads.
Where did you learn to make arancini?
We’re both chefs and worked in Melbourne, where we were taught by Sicilian chefs how to make risotto balls; Sicilian and Italian cuisine are very big in Melbourne… or at least it was in the 90s when we were learning there. Now there’s a lot of input from Asia, but the tendency in Australia is to incorporate lots of different cooking styles and make them our own. So we have very authentic Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Greek, and Turkish cuisines, and as an Australian we borrow a little from everybody and put it in a pot, mix it up and usually, magic happens.
"Sicilian and Italian cuisine are very big in Melbourne"
What variations on the traditional arancini do you offer?
We have two main flavours. One is citrus and herb; the other flavour is mushroom and zucchini. You can get them by themselves in boxes of five, seven, or twelve with one of our many homemade sauces, or you can have them in a meal. We make them very flavourful, in salads or wraps, so that they’re nutritionally balanced. One of our biggest sellers, especially in the evenings or weekends, is our burger: we turn our risotto balls into a patty, and that’s the base of our burger.
As a vegan I never really enjoyed the reminder of meat, so all the Beyond burgers and Impossible burgers that are coming out at the moment are not that attractive to me. I just wanted to make a burger that was junk food-y and ticks all the boxes but that, as a vegan, doesn’t remind me of eating a beef burger. We have a huge popularity amongst vegans, but our biggest customer base is non-vegan. I think that shows how our food is for everybody and, as the times are going at the moment, people are looking to cut their meat consumption but still want a taste experience that doesn’t feel like they’re missing out.
Do you think sourcing produce locally is important?
Probably 80% of our food is made in-store, and we only use local producers. Obviously it’s seasonal, or at least we try to be as seasonal as possible, which isn’t always easy in a country like the UK. We do our best and we definitely use local suppliers where possible.
"We only use local producers"
Do you offer any other services, for those who can’t make it in-store?
We do delivery through our website, and if you happen to live outside of our delivery area, we also have an online store where you can buy things like our risotto ball kit. It’s posted straight to your letterbox so you can make it at home, which is becoming increasingly popular nowadays.
Find out more here.